‘Clean’ is a new short film on Amazon Mini Tv starring Amrita Puri, Aisha Ahmed and others as a part of a small Muslim family. The title of this movie is very appropriate as it talks about the issues of addiction and substance abuse through the lens of sisterhood. Although it is a short-film, it has tried to cover as many emotions as possible and make the audience understand them.

Saba (Amrita Puri) is the elder sibling who is making last minute preparations for the lunch she is hosting with her husband Aamir. Soon, her dad and younger sister, Mehr (Aisha Ahmed) arrive for lunch and the awkwardness is pretty evident from the beginning. While Saba is shown to be extremely cautious around Mehr, the latter is seen to be apologetic. Saba’s son, Nemo is a young playful boy who does not recognize Mehr but soon becomes good friends with her. The family starts talking over mutton curry and Mehr praises Saba for her cooking. After lunch, a major incident occurred while opening presents. This opened many issues from the past.

The final confrontation between sisters occurs in the hospital stairway wherein they open up about their issues and talk about it. There is a sense of trembling seen as both of them could not even openly cry or console each other. The movie does end on a fairly happy note with the sisters sorting their problems out.

Watching this short-film made me realize the importance of talking and expressing ourselves with each other, especially with our own siblings. All of us seem to have a different approach towards handling many of our life problems. While some of us might be successful in tackling them, others might fail and go down a spiral. We generally and unconsciously blame the person for going down the spiral, not realizing that it’s their coping mechanisms that have not supported them this time.

In such times, people might resort to using substances like medicines, drugs leading to addiction, which happened with Mehr in this short film. Her family’s attitude towards her changed as a result of this which did make her feel like the villain of her house. It takes a lot of courage to deal with life as a whole and its individual parts but social support in such times is so important. To know that there is someone out there rooting for me to get better can be comforting for us.

Mehr and Saba had a lot that went on in the past but while Saba took it on herself to control everything, she thought that Mehr took the privilege of going down the drain. A simple act of sitting together, close to each other and talking things out helped them understand each other’s point of view and make sense out of it.

Zoya Parvin, the writer and director of this short-film ‘Clean’ did a marvelous job in trying to expose the vulnerabilities of a complex human relationship. Many of us can relate to this storyline in our own lives and see light at the end of the dark tunnel. Amrita Puri and Aisha Ahmed did a great job in bringing the characters of Saba and Mehr to life. The awkwardness depicted by them along with the impending sense of tension was very much visible and portrayed realistically.

Overall, ‘Clean’ is a good watch to understand the various levels of human interaction and evolution over the course of time. Relationships are meant to be strained in due time but it is on us to work on them and keep them going. I see a fresh take on the cinema with such short-films and it is commendable to narrate such stories in a short span of time. And as they say, mutton curry is a good meal to start conversations in a family.

‘Clean’ is now streaming on Amazon miniTV.

 


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